Director of Spiritual Formation, Education, and Development

1st (Park) Congregational Church UCC | Grand Rapids, MI
Date posted: March 16, 2023
Director of Spiritual Formation, Education, and Development
Contact Name: Rev Darryl Kistler
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: (616) 485-1959
Deadline: May 15, 2023


1st (Park) Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. We are a dynamic progressive Protestant congregation in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, MI. We seek to do our part to share love, do justice, and cultivate community as we go along our spiritual journeys.



An ideal candidate for the Director of Spiritual Formation, Education, and Development position will bring strong leadership, administrative, educational, and communication skills to the position. We seek a person who brings a passion and joy for the overall spiritual nurturing and care of children, youth, and their families; will have a thorough knowledge of childhood development and employ best practices in faith formations; can create an integrated educational program that empowers and engages our young; is inclusive in outlook; is supportive of Park Church’s progressive theology, its’ “Open and Affirming” beliefs, and will uphold the standards of the church’s “Safe Church Policy.” The Director must be able to work positively within a strong team of dedicated staff and lay volunteers and will promote an atmosphere of loving community, collaboration, and cooperation.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Plans, implements, and evaluates the comprehensive spiritual formation classes and programs that serve Park Church’s children, youth, and families.
  • In cooperation with the Congregational Life Coordinator, is responsible for the recruitment, orientation, and training of Sunday School teachers, Youth Group Leaders, and other volunteers to conduct the church’s Sunday morning children and youth programs.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise the youth group staff and volunteers to develop youth activities and programs that attract and retain an engaged youth population with an emphasis on service, relationship building, and faith exploration.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise the paid nursery staff.
  • Collaborates with the Minister of Music and Children and Youth Choir Directors to integrate music, art, and dance into the church’s spiritual formation programs.
  • In cooperation with our Media and Marketing Coordinator, promotes child and youth spiritual formation and development programs within Park Church utilizing direct email, printed materials, electronic newsletter, Facebook and the Park Church website.
  • Partners with the Senior Minister to create and offer Childrens and Youth Moments during the weekly Sunday Worship Service.
  • Collaborates with the Senior Minister and Minister of Music to create the Christmas Eve Family Service.
  • Support the Senior Minister in leading Confirmation Class.
  • Prepares program budget for review by the Board of Trustees and maintains the program budget for the fiscal year.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings, the two annual meetings of the congregation, and the occasional Board of Deacons meetings.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Supportive of the “Open and Affirming” beliefs and progressive theology of Park Church.
  • Upholds the standards of the church’s “Safe Church Policy.”
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Preferably in the field of elementary or secondary education, childhood development, religious education, or theology.
  • Two years’ work experience in faith formations, spiritual education, youth group leadership, elementary or secondary education, or non-profit volunteer coordination.
  • Related degrees and comparable experience will be considered.
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to prioritize multiple projects and programs simultaneously.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others.
  • Computer literacy and social media skills.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and the ability to travel as required.

Related Qualifications

  • Working knowledge and experience with implementing Young Children and Worship curriculum. Training and professional development in this curriculum will be provided if necessary.
  • Knowledge of the United Church of Christ, its history and theology.
  • Commitment to a spiritual life and life-long learning.



Employment Status: Non-Exempt, Full-time (35+ per week); Sundays, some holiday, and the occasional weekday evening are required. Candidate must be able to successfully pass a background check and be willing to be trained in our Safe Church Policy.

Salary Range: Starting Salary Range of $40,000-$45,000. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications for the position.

Benefits: Enrollment in the Park Church Medical Plan, Cellphone Stipend, Contribution to 403(b) Annuity Plan, Paid Time Off, other benefits are negotiable.

Interested candidates should apply by sending a resume, three references, and a cover letter to Rev. Darryl Kistler at [email protected] Please quote “Director of Spiritual Formation” in the subject line. Park Church welcomes all applicants.

Interviews will begin immediately upon receiving resumes and the position will be filled as soon as possible. Desired Start Date is no later than May 15, 2023

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